Paper Millionaire

An individual who has achieved a high net worth as a result of the large total market value of the assets he or she owns. This phenomenon usually occurs when investors buy marketable securities that are later bid up to much higher prices on the open market. While this creates large amounts of "paper profit", the paper millionaire's riches usually aren't safe until these holdings are liquidated.

It is important to note that paper millionaires are not the same as true millionaires, which generally refers to people who have more than $1 million in cash in the bank.

For example, consider a hypothetical investor during the 1990s technology bubble who invested in startup dotcom companies. Assuming that none of this investor's shares is sold, he or she would have become a paper millionaire, as recorded on the brokerage statement, despite having very little cash in the bank.

However, once the dotcom bubble burst, technology stocks saw their share prices collapse, and former paper millionaires once again found themselves poor, owning only pieces of paper (i.e. share certificates) that were no longer worth the millions of dollars at which the market had previously valued them.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • paper millionaire — ➔ millionaire * * * paper millionaire UK US noun [C] MONEY ► a person who would have at least 1 million in their country s money if they sold all their investments: »She calculated that her stock options made her a paper millionaire …   Financial and business terms

  • paper millionaire — /peɪpə mɪljənˈɛə/ (say paypuh milyuhn air) noun a person who has paper profits of more than a million dollars. Compare millionaire (def. 1) …   Australian English dictionary

  • paper millionaire — Fin an individual who owns shares that are worth in excess of a million in currency, but which may fall in value. In 2001, many of the founders of dot com companies were paper millionaires. See also paper profit …   The ultimate business dictionary

  • paper millionaire — /ˌpeɪpə ˌmɪljə neə/ noun a person who owns shares which, if sold, would be worth one million pounds or dollars …   Dictionary of banking and finance

  • millionaire — mil‧lion‧aire [ˌmɪljəˈneə ǁ ˈner] noun [countable] someone who has assets worth at least a million pounds, dollars etc: • Executives at the TV company can expect to become millionaires through a 15% holding. • a dollar millionaire ˈpaper… …   Financial and business terms

  • millionaire — /mɪljəˈnɛə / (say milyuh nair) noun 1. a person who has more than a million dollars, pounds, euros, etc., held as cash in a bank. Compare paper millionaire. 2. a very rich person. {French millionnaire, from million million} –millionairess,… …   Australian English dictionary

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  • Paper Planes — Single par M.I.A.http://fr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Paper Planes action=edit extrait de l’album Kala Sortie 2008 Enregistrement 2007 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Slumdog Millionaire (фильм) — Миллионер из трущоб. Slumdog Millionaire Жанр Мелодрама / Драма / Криминал Режиссёр Дэнни Бойл Лавлин Тандан …   Википедия

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